The Battles of Philippi Essay

The Battles of Philippi Essay

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The Battles of Philippi (42 BCE):
The Death of the Roman Republic
The battles of Philippi remain one of the best examples of how audacity on the battlefield can influence history. The battles are the climax of the civil war following the assassination of Gaius Julius Caesar in 44 BCE by a band of prominent political figures of Rome; (led by Marcus Junius Brutus (Brutus) and Gaius Cassius Longina (Cassius)) who will be referred to in this paper as ‘the Liberators’. The Battles that occurred on the Macedonian plains from the 1st-21st of October 42 BCE will clearly show that no matter the period of history the battlefield considerations of Political, Military, Economic, Social, and Physical Environment can be exploited to achieve victory.
The Political Situation
The volatile political situation in Rome following the assassination of Gaius Julius Caesar (Caesar) was complex. Competing Caesarian and ‘Liberator’ factions were deadlocked by popular perceptions of Caesar and the legal ramifications of declaring him a tyrant. A compromise was struck to remove the shadow of guilt from the assassins while declaring all of Caesar’s acts as legal. By compromising all Roman nobles in power would retain the positions granted by Caesar; specifically Caesar’s great nephew and adopted son Gaius Octavius the Younger (Octavian) to keep the titles granted to him in Caesar’s will. (Dando-Collins, 2010) The Triumvirate , a trilateral commission of pro-Caesarian forces would win the battle and ultimately change the course of western history. This Political compromise set the conditions for the battle to come.
Military Considerations
The Triumvirate forces were at a slight military advantage of ‘the Liberators’. The legions of the Triumvirate ...

... middle of paper ...

...entions allowed him to counterattack and gain the upper hand. Mark Antony’s model of understanding yourself, your enemy, and your environment stand as an enduring example to commanders.

Appian. (2007, December 22). The Battle Of Philippi. Retrieved March 24, 2012, from
Dando-Collins, S. (2010). The Ides: Caesar's Murder and the War for Rome. Hoboken: John Wiley & Sons Inc.
Holland, T. (2003). Rubicon. New york: Doubleday.
Plutarch. (2009, June 25). The Parallel Lives by Plutarch. Retrieved March 24, 2012, from*.html
Unknown. (2012). Second Triumvirate, Wars of the (43 - 31 b.c.) . Retrieved 03 24, 2012, from

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